Shakespeare in the Squares have been on a huge tour of the Central Line, with a rowdy evening spent in Arundel and Ladbroke Gardens. The whip of 1920 fashionable and themes have mingled with the Bard. I dare say, they got away with it.
I think it's the laid-back nature of seeing a play outside, the good weather is a blessing in this realm. Here a young, spritely cast did well with the characters, amazing to see how easy it is to manipulate people even back then. After the famous shipwreck the plot squiggles about with mistaken identity, deceit and still a lot of jokes and fun. The show is infused with songs from the setting, Gershwin, Fats Waller, Kern & Hammerstein and more.
The cast is a delight. Toby Gordon certainly knows how to project, as Orsino and Sir Toby Belch. He commands the stage in stature and delivery. Richard Emerson gets loads of laughs as Malvolio, his time spent in yellow undergarments remains a highlight. He even gets applause for the absurd letter scene. Lee Drage as Antonio might not be the most compelling character, though his time is spent well with the troupe.
Priscilla Grace as Marie is softly spoken and affirmed in the role, though is easily overpowered by the massive personalities of the character surrounding her. Lucy Ireland spends half the night looking like Errol Fllyn in pilot gear as Viola, her delightful nature and being well-suited for the role made it look so easy. Feste from Marrissa Landy is a ball, her flapper attire looks legit with her many naughty, outrageous flutters. Carys McQueen gets many vampish phases with more good humour and comic timing. Fred Thomas as Sebastian is a blend of Niles Crane and silent cinema dandy. His physical comedy is highly effective, the moment he was moved to laughter out of character was a great slip.
It is fun, it is silly and it is a delight. On to the next square!
It runs till 7th July. Tickets: here.
Review: James Ellis Photo: James Millar